When the topic of BDSM arises, the more vanilla-minded may automatically jump to the idea of sadists and masochists who get off on giving or receiving pain, but there are a number of facets to BDSM that don’t involve physical discomfort. For many, BDSM is more about a power exchange than the sting of a whip. Even those who love to walk on the wild side may prefer to do so in sneakers rather than sky-high stripper heels.
Whether you’re new to the world of kink or simply enjoy your BDSM without a side of “ouch,” there are plenty of ways to play around with power dynamics while remaining comfortable.
“B” is for “bondage,” and being the first letter of the acronym, it’s obvious what a considerable role restraints play in the BDSM world. Giving up the ability to move freely can be oddly freeing and shows a significant amount of trust between partners, making this act especially intimate. It’s important to note, though, that materials make a huge difference in sensation for both rope bunnies and those who prefer the simplicity of handcuffs alike.
Cuffs are a classic restraint option that require very little know-how or effort to enjoy, making them perfect for quickies and bondage scene newbies. However, your standard metal handcuffs won’t be a good fit for all. Metal cuffs are not only cold and unrelenting on wrists but can even hurt and leave bruises on the back and torso when laid upon (trust me, I’ve been there). If you want to restrain without any pain, thick cuffs made of soft materials are a cozy alternative. Choose a set with a cushy makeup of both the inner and outer lining to satisfy all players during a scene.
Craving a higher level of restriction? Tying someone up allows you to restrain a pair of wrists or ankles together in one hold for even less movability. You’ve probably seen movies where couples employ creative use of neckties and scarves for this purpose, but who wants to ruin a perfectly good fashion accessory? Take things a step further (and do your wardrobe a favor) by using long silk rope instead. The longer the rope, the more imaginative you can be; tie up different body parts or practice knot varieties like you’re back in the scouts. Silk tie-ups are also a wonderful way to get acquainted with Shibari, an erotic art form that’s sure to impress everyone at the BDSM club (or even just your partner).
While spreader bars may not be as widely known as other bondage accessories, they boast many benefits. Locking a sub’s legs into a wide-spread position provides doms with easy access to the genitals and anus, the feeling of erotic exposure for the sub, and the excitement of restraint for both. Most spreader bars are made purely of metal or hard plastic, making them uncomfortable for use during actual coitus. Opt for a padded spreader bar instead to avoid a harsh clash of the bar to the body during rough and rowdy sessions.
A Personal Touch
Do you want to get spank-happy? You’re not alone. Spanking has become more commonplace in recent years, with even some of the more vanilla folks experimenting with a light swat or two. With the growing popularity of spanking as a sex act, people often forget (or are simply uninformed of) the fact that there’s an art to the practice. Toys like whips and paddles can easily land on an unintended spot or inflict more impact than initially intended, making them a better option for experienced kinksters or those who are into sadism and masochism. Using one’s hand rather than a spanking implement can go a long way in pain prevention. Hand spankings provide the giver full control of the speed, power, and placement of each swat. A good rule of thumb for keeping spankings on the lighter side: if the dom’s hand is hurting, so is the sub’s bum!
Dabbling in kink doesn’t have to involve the use of pain. Think of it this way: adding hot sauce to a dish will surely make it more flavorful, but so will a dash of pepper. Practice caution and care when picking out sex-cessories and employing BDSM practices for kinky fun that’s suitable for your (and your partner’s) pain threshold and particular carnal palette.